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The Patriots' emerging leader

In New England for the long haul, Wilfork ready for expanded locker room role

Updated: March 10, 2010, 8:01 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

At one point during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork talked about identifying "bad seeds" in the locker room and weeding them out. He said he wouldn't have a problem going to head coach Bill Belichick and pointing it out.

This is part of the benefit the Patriots could gain after signing Wilfork to a five-year, $40 million contract with an $18 million signing bonus.

They didn't just re-up their best defensive player ...

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